JIS News

Preparations are in high gear for the visit of the King of Spain, Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia, to Spanish Town, St. Catherine.
The Spanish Monarchs, who are to be conferred with national civil decorations by the Government, will be in the island on a two-day State visit from February 17 to 18.
Mayor of Spanish Town, Dr. Andrew Wheatley, told JIS News that the St. Catherine Parish Council, is currently beautifying and cleaning the main corridors in the town.
“Over the last six months, we have started some significant improvement to the infrastructure in Spanish Town. A number of roads have been rehabilitated. We are in the process of beautifying the main corridors in Spanish Town,” he said.
Currently, he said, the Council, in collaboration with the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and the Tourism Product Development Company Ltd. (TPDCo), have been beautifying areas along the Spanish Town by-pass and as far as Ferry in the parish. He said that trees and ornamental plants would be planted along the corridor.
“It is part of the general thrust to get rid of the rubbish that is normally associated with major urban centres,” he said, adding that the clean-up is not only being done for the visit of the King and Queen, but “to improve the general aesthetics and to preserve our heritage in the town.”
The Mayor said that the Old Iron Bridge, in Spanish Town, is also receiving a face-lift, with the cost of restoration being $12 million. He emphasised that it is important for the bridge to be restored, since its base is being worn away by flood waters.
Their Majesties are expected to participate in a ceremony, scheduled to take place in Spanish Town Emancipation Square on February 18, where they will be given the Keys to the Old Capital and unveil a signing board, part of the Jamaican Heritage Trail, sponsored by the Spanish Jamaican Foundation. They will also unveil a plaque to commemorate their visit.
After leaving Emancipation Square, they will visit the Spanish Town Hospital to open a refurbished wing, which was financed with the assistance of the Spanish Government.